Stories of Goble History by Evelyn Goble Steen

The Execution of Two Goble Men

By Evelyn Goble Steen

Daniel (2) Goble was the sixth and youngest child of Thomas (1) Goble and his wife Alice. He was born July 18, 1641 and baptized in Charlestown, Massachusetts. On February 25, 1663/64 at Sudbury, Massachusetts, he married Hanna (Anna) Brewer. Daniel and Hanna lived in Concord south of Walden Woods, where their four children (Hanna, Daniel, John, and Alice/Elsey) were born.

Daniel (2), his brother Thomas (2) and his nephew Stephen (3) Goble (son of Thomas (2)), were in King Philip's War, which began in 1671. This was the first and only major Indian war in the 17th century and it decided the fate of New England's Indians.

Narragansetts Indian brothers Metacomet and Wamsutta shared the power of the tribe after their father, the chief, died. They were considered to be peaceful sachem and were renamed King Philip and Alexander by the English. As tensions began to grow between the colonists and Indians a new peace treaty was signed. Rumors and small incidents continued to cause distrust; and uncontrolled skirmishes of horrific proportions broke out. All out war between Indian tribes and the English volunteers spread rapidly. On August 30, 1675 the Concord Council passed an order "That any Indians found more than a mile from the center of their villages, except in the company of English or on service, the English are at liberty to shoot them down or arrest them."

Daniel (2) Goble fought against the Indians in Captain Manning's company; Thomas (2) Goble fought in Captain Prentice's company; and Stephen (3) Goble fought in Captain Wheeler's company. Captain Manning commanded a contingent in the Battle of Great Swamp Fort on December 19, 1675. It was the most massive military action initiated by the colonists during the war.

Villages were burned and many people were captured or scalped. As the battles continued, great losses were accounted for by the English and the Indians. There was dissension among the different tribes of Indians and by August 1676 Philip had only a few loyal followers left. King Philip was killed on August 12, 1676, by one of his own men who had turned against him. Philip's death brought the termination of the war. His body was mutilated and his head, mounted on a gibbet, was used in Plymouth as a warning to restive chiefs for over 20 years. King Philip's War cost the lives of 600 Englishmen and perhaps 3000 Indians. Some 1200 homes were burned and 80,000 head of cattle killed. Surviving Indians were sold as slaves for 30 shillings each.

After the war ended, the colonists feared the killing of Indians would throw them back into fierce fighting. The court records of 1676 state: Daniel (2) Goble, Stephen (3) Goble, Nathaniel Wilde, and Daniel Hoare were indicted, tried and found guilty for the "wanton" murders of three Indian women and three Indian children. The killings took place on or about August 7, 1676. This was just five days before King Philip's war ended. (Daniel pleaded not guilty to the charge.)

The Goble men were yeomen (farmers) and both received the prescribed punishment. Daniel Hoare and Nathaniel Wilde being from more affluent families and having connections with the clergy, presented a petition to the court begging pardon for their lives, which the court granted. The court fined them and they were discharged.


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Copyright © 1997 by Evelyn Goble Steen, All Rights Reserved
This page last updated on November 11, 1997